HMV staff told to hide 'extreme body art' from customers
STAFF at record chain HMV have been banned from long haircuts, having exposed tattoos or wearing flip-flops and told that they must hide "extreme body art" from customers.
A new "appearance policy" which takes effect next Friday imposes restrictions on staff across the UK, making it clear that the stereotypical image of a record shop worker will no longer be acceptable.
Only "discreet" tattoos and piercings are allowed, and any "extreme body art" must be hidden from customers. Male staff have to wear blue denim jeans and female workers skirts in the same material. All staff are banned from wearing open-toed shoes.
An HMV spokesman said that reports had been "sensationalised" and that the company was not trying to ban all tattoos: "But if someone does have extensive body art - whether instore or at head office, we would expect them to cover this up whilst working.
"More discreet tattoos and piercings are not an issue so long as people look smart. It goes without saying that we want our work colleagues to feel valued as individuals who can express their personalities, but it's also important that we balance this against the needs and expectations of our customers, who, ultimately, have to be at the heart of everything we do.
"We'd like to think our colleagues are presentable anyway, so this is just about adopting a more consistent approach, which we believe our customers will appreciate," he said.
But the company has yet to roll out the changes across its corporate website, where a member of its human resources team, Geoff, tells potential job applicants about his role at HMV. The page features a photograph showing a prominent labret piercing (which passes through the lip just above the chin) and an earring.
Matthew Sparkes, Telegraph.co.uk